An app approved as a contraceptive
It is the first time in the U.S. that the FDA has approved the use of an app as birth control.
For the first time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the use of a mobile application as a contraceptive. It is one of the two new methods recently approved by the administration.
In its statement, the FDA names the Natural Cycles mobile application as a method that can be used to prevent pregnancy. This app of Swedish origin uses an algorithm that calculates when a woman is fertile days based on information about her body temperature and her menstrual cycle. It is an application that is aimed at premenopausal women 18 years and older.
Unlike many other applications of this type that already existed in the market, Natural Cycles asks that women enter information about their morning temperature using a basal thermometer. The price of the app is $79.99 per year.
This is not the first time that this app has received the support of institutions like the FDA. Just last year, Natural Cycles was approved as a medical device in Europe.
Of course, experts remind users that no form of contraception works perfectly, so this new option also has its risks. In addition, they emphasize that the use of this method does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases, which are common in the United States.
Although the Natural Cycles app is proud to have more than 900 users worldwide and reported that only 1.8 percent of women who have used it correctly have become pregnant, the app is being investigated by the Swedish Agency of Medical Products because a total of 37 women reported becoming pregnant using this system. Other critics have taken issue with the approval of the app out of concern that people will choose this method over some methods already proven to be effective, such as the IUD.
It is true that natural methodology can be successful. However, experts say that the process requires daily monitoring that is very exhaustive and complicated to maintain over time.
The other contraceptive method that was recently approved by the FDA is the Annovera vaginal ring, which will not be commercialized until the end of 2019. The novelty of this new ring is that it can be used for up to one year. It is a ring that releases hormones that prevent ovulation to control the risk of pregnancy.